Lead Story – Dec ’16

Lead Story – Dec ’16

greetings from SNPHN
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Holiday – from CEO Lynelle Hales

As the year draws to a close, and the holiday season approaches, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress this year possible. It is in this spirit we say simply but sincerely to all our partners, stakeholders and colleagues who have all contributed to make 2016 a tremendous year for Sydney North Health Network, thank you and best wishes for the holiday season.

During 2016, we have rolled out initiatives identified in our Strategic Plan 2015-18 through four strategic priorities:

  • Building Capacity in Primary Care: enhancing GP and clinical leaderships and supporting the retention, development, and growth of a contemporary primary healthcare workforce. Key activities:
    • Clinical Council and Community Council: have provided input into the prioritising of PHN workplans, establishing Health Pathways, quality improvement initiatives, and establishing a Sydney North Person Centred Care Model for roll out over the next 12 months.
    • Quality Improvement Initiatives: Incentivising data quality improvement in general practice to support team based care and focusing on improving childhood immunisations & vaccine preventable conditions. Supporting translational research in practices, such as iSOLVE, which is engaging a whole of primary care approach to falls prevention, from assessment to referral pathways and support for evidence based interventions.
    • Building Capacity: Providing ongoing practice support and working with interested practices on introducing the “building blocks” to high performing primary care and strengthening the principles of person centred care within the network. Areas identified of focus are engaged leadership, team-based care, patient-team partnership; prompt access and continuity of care.


  • Commissioning: working with the market to co-design, deliver and actively manage services to most effectively and efficiently meet the needs and improve outcomes within the resources available. Key activities this year:
    • Strategic grants provided in the areas of chronic disease management, mental health, men’s health, older complex patient hospital discharge and GP education.
    • After Hours:
      – Commissioned a hospital discharge follow-up service for dementia clients, to facilitate transfer of care back to the community and ensure appropriate services are sourced to reduce the risk of re-admissions and impact on after hours presentations – two service providers commissioned.
      – Commissioned a social work service to address the social determinants of health and reduce the risk of unplanned hospital presentations – two service providers commissioned.
      – Supporting the Northern Beaches hospital avoidance team to pilot a ‘sick patient flip chart’ (triage guide) into six Residential Aged Care Facilities for 3 months with a roll out of all facilities in Feb 2017.
      – Collaborating with Ambulance NSW on a secure messaging project with the Extended Care Paramedics.
    • Contracting a range of existing mental health and suicide prevention services, including the two headspace centres
    • New Partnership Opportunities: Currently out for tender in five areas for implementation from January 2017 (following stakeholder engagement sessions to co-design services with over 200 participants):
      – Aboriginal Integrated team care
      – Alcohol and other drug treatment services
      – Psychological services for underserviced groups
      – Low intensity mental health services
      – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health services.


  • Service Transformation: Working together across the health system for the coordination of care and seamless transitions. Developing health intelligence at the patient, practice, and health system level to improve understanding and create solutions. Key activities:
    • HealthPathways: developing HealthPathways around key priority areas, now at 50 joint pathways being localised and finalised. They will be tested in a limited number of practices and then launched in early 2017.
    • Integration: Working collaboratively with partners to impact on preventable hospitalisations e.g. using simulation modelling to prioritise planning for future End of Life Care Needs. Another example is a joint project with Sonic Clinical Services on general practice led chronic disease management.
    • Community Engagement: Continued support of community engagement, including:
      – Broad community awareness campaign on access to after hours services
      – Health talks presented by local GPs to new migrants through TAFE at Brookvale, St Leonards, Hornsby and Meadowbank. Topics include how to access a GP and After Hours services
      – GPs in school’s program, with 2500 year 10 and 11 students participating in 2015/16


  • Organisational Excellence: operating in an environment of continuous improvement and systematic risk management to deliver our commitments. Key activities:
    • Communications: continual development and advancement of the work we have done, through our website, eNewsletters, and social media channels with around 50,000 website page visits per month, 3,500 eNews subscribers and a social media community of over 750 people.
    • Governance: Continued oversight and strategic input from our Board and subcommittees: Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee and Clinical Governance Committees.

While it is not possible to list all this year’s achievements into one message, you can read more about our work through our 2015/16 Annual Report.

Thank you for working with us this year to help to realise our vision: Achieving Together: Better Health, Better Care. I look forward to another progressive year together in 2017.

Lynelle Hales
Chief Executive Officer

Lynelle Hales - CEO

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